Rising Queer Actress Jasmin Savoy Brown says there's a Place for Dave Chapelle's Jokes

·3 min read
Photo:  Jemal Countess (Getty Images)
Photo: Jemal Countess (Getty Images)

The Yellowjackets star Jasmin Savoy Brown is rising to fame on the queer Hollywood stage following an intense uproar from the LGBTQ community regarding Dave Chapelle who was accused of including a transphobic and homophobic bit in his comedy special “The Closer.”

Brown, on the other side, said the uproar was “frustrating’’ and that “there is a place for jokes that make people uncomfortable because it makes them think but not because they are mean,” reported NBC. Brown also encouraged Netflix to continue elevating queer voices “who are all about calling in rather than calling out,” an action item many other celebrities promoted to encourage education instead of cancellation.

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Brown has been booked and busy with new roles, including the first queer character to enter the Scream franchise. However, with every Hollywood gig, she has been embracing her queerness through each character with a powerful, positive lens to avert the attention from the harmful stereotypes people like Chapelle can perpetuate.

She made sure she ‘called in’ the filmmakers to mold ‘Mindy’ into a “completely lived-in person,” according to NBC.

From NBC:

“I’ve seen a lot of queer content where the character feels half-baked, and it’s such a rip-off and it makes me feel sad and used, as if we’re props,” Brown explained. “I just wanted to really make sure we went fully in the opposite direction, had a completely lived-in person who isn’t defined by her queerness, but her queerness is celebrated even in the nuances.”

“It’s subtle changes that really make a difference and me as an audience member feel seen when I’m watching something. It’s the showing versus saying. It’s the doing versus alluding to,” Brown added.

Even the “little things,” such as Mindy’s wardrobe and accessories, were built into her character with a queer eye, Brown said.

“I was like, ‘Well she has to wear a watch because gays love a watch,’ you know? Stuff like that,” she said.

Brown told NBC she aims to portray queer people in a more ‘joyful’ light that is more authentic to her personal experience as a queer person. The trend of queer characters having dark or unhopeful storylines is one she aims to change.

“There’s so much tragedy porn, you know? In all of these movies and shows, the gay people die or it’s sad about how they came out and their parents abandoned them. No. My life and my friends lives that are queer are so full of joy. We’re laughing. We’re happy. We’re so successful in what we do. That’s the kind of queer content I want to hear,” Brown told NBC. She also said more positive portrayals will make queer characters more relatable to gay people and easy to understand by straight people.

NBC also reported Brown had launched Netflix’s first LGBTQ-focused podcast called The Gay Agenda. The podcast aims to follow to lives of popular LGBTQ creatives, promote uplifting queer content to Netflix and address difficult conversation topics that come up within the community. One of those issues is when it’s appropriate for a straight character to play a gay or transgender character to which Brown told NBC that she is on the fence.

More from NBC:

If there was more access for queer actors in general to play roles, whether that be queer roles or straight roles, I’d be totally fine with it because we are acting and it is about telling a story. There’s so many lives I’ve never lived that I am portraying on screen. If we get to the specifics, should I not play a soccer star because I’m not a soccer star?” she said, referring to her character in “Yellowjackets.”

Brown is making an honorable effort in the cut-throat environment of Hollywood to make a change for a group in dire need of better representation. It’s not enough to feature queer characters in a movie or show if it means their character dies first or doesn’t get a chance at happiness.

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